Incorporating Augmented Reality In the Automobile Industry

Remember J.A.R.V.I.S. from the Iron Man series? Just A Rather Very Intelligent System, better known as J.A.R.V.I.S. was Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) very own home computing system that performed all his chores for him- right from giving him relationship advice to running engine analysis of his hot rods. Well, one might say anything is possible in movies. But this scenario has changed with the advent of Augmented Reality.

Definition

AR, acronym for Augmented Reality is a real-time (live) view of the real environment which is enhanced by the computer. The view of the environment may be direct or indirect. This futuristic technology has been applied in many fields- Education, art, architecture, construction, navigation, gaming, healthcare and automobiles.

AR in automobiles

Can it make your car fly? NO. Can it make your car invisible? NO. In order to do that, I’ll have to retitle and rewrite this whole piece to Virtual Reality. Maybe in some years, you will see flying cars, but right now, let’s get back to AR which is equally awesome.

AR debuted in the automobile industry through an ad for Mini back in 2008, when they transformed a print ad into a 3D vehicle examination session at the showroom, that too, by using a PC and a webcam.

German auto giant, Volkswagen use Augmented Reality to conduct their crash tests. They compare estimated and actual crash imagery.

In addition to this, AR is used in the developmental stage of a car by many carmakers.

A virtual prototype can be prepared by projecting virtual data onto a real vehicle during the design stage. This method brings down expenditure and effort massively as the car design can be easily accepted or rejected without having to produce a real prototype. Cool, right?

At an auto show, the Volvo V40 could be viewed by the audience through an iPad screen that acted like an X ray screen, giving the people a peek into the car interiors, at any angle. Such is the power of AR.

AR has been used to create space saving digital car showrooms (example- Audi City, London) that can house numerous models in minimum space.

BMW is not far behind either when it comes to applying AR to their automobile engineering techniques. Their service engineers get step-wise instructions (through AR projections) which are provided by the head-mounted displays they wear.

We have saved the dessert for the end- Land Rover has designed a transparent bonnet that aims to help off-roading drivers get a clear view of the road ahead.

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